René Pleven (rənā´ plĕväN´), 1901–93, French political leader. He held various diplomatic and financial posts in the Free French government during World War II and served (1944–46) as minister of finance in the provisional French government. As premier (1950–51), Pleven worked for European political unity. His centrist coalition government fell in Mar., 1951, and he served as vice-premier until August when he again became premier until Jan., 1952. He held several other ministerial posts until 1958. Out of ministerial office during Charles de Gaulle's tenure, he maintained his seat in the national assembly. He was minister of justice from 1969 to 1973, when he lost his assembly seat.